Going to college is not just about getting a quality education, it is about learning how to live life on your own. That can be a challenge as students learn to become self sufficient, but it does not have to be painful. The following are tips with explanations that can help college students make smart decisions about money.
- Electricity usage can be reduced by buying energy efficient light bulbs and making sure that you turn off lights that are not being used. Using a power strip to shut off power between a computer or television can also help to reduce the effect of “vampire” appliances. Even when powered off, vampire appliances continue to use energy.
- Decorating on a budget is not difficult. Think about repurposing objects and employing objects that have more than one function. Thrift stores make great places for finding furniture that can be repainted and brought back to life. Being creative is fun and helps to cut costs.
- Use a fan rather than the air conditioner. Avoid portable heaters as they require a lot of electricity.
- Car insurance can be reduced by combining policies, good grades, and annual mileage. Check with your insurance company about discounts that they offer. Check the value of your car to make sure it is worth insuring for comprehensive insurance.
- Getting the most back is a great way to help augment your income. Ask for tax advice to see what you can do, throughout the year, to lower your income tax. Got a job? “Tax Planning for Your First Job” is filled with useful and practical tips on getting the most out of your income.
- Working with a tax service can also help you qualify for larger returns because these services know about all of the deductions. Educate yourself so you don’t let the fear of taxes get the better of you. Need help? Do your taxes online with Taxbrain and get all the free live technical support you need! Open a free account today. It’s quick and easy.
- Coupons come with pro’s and con’s. A good value coupon may not be a good value if you purchase your item at a higher priced store. Students can reduce their food costs by shopping wisely at quality lower priced stores. Comparison shopping can pay off big time.
- Simple, nutritious meals that are cheap are not hard to cook. Find a few meals that are easy, cheap, and nutritious. Learning how to cook is an art, but a good tip is that boxed foods are usually more expensive to prepare than similar meals you can cook yourself. Microwaves and crock pots make cooking less time consuming, than cooking on a stove.
- Eating lower on the food chain is cheaper. The lower level of the food pyramid is full of food items that are usually cheap. Try rice, beans, grains, hot cereals as opposed boxed cold cereals which are very expensive per ounce.
- Most communities have free activities. Coffee shops with live music are a great example of a cheap activity. Break away from your itunes and immerse yourself in the real thing.
- Take advantage of local parks. They offer a great place to relax and study. Sometimes local museums offer free admission.
- Groups of students don’t have to go to a place like a club or bar to have fun, they can meet up at a park, or on campus and enjoy the company. Many events offer deep discounts for students. Remember to keep your student ID card handy.
Saving money is not difficult once you get into the habit of looking for less expensive alternatives that meet your lifestyle needs. Even though college is an ideal time to start developing healthy money habits, you can educate yourself and adopt smart money saving decisions at any age.